Nunui, Bulwer 1969 just launched 30 10 2015

Nunui 1978 Bulwer30102015


When woody Brynn McCauley was researching Wainui, his grandfathers 1950’s era Marlbourough Sounds fishing boat (now owned by Cameron Pollard) Brynn discovered the whereabouts of Nunui,  his grandfathers last working fishing boat. Nunui was/is….. a small clinker built c.1969 motor boat, that unfortunately has ended its days in Porirua, (photo below).
Brynn commented that he suspects she was originally a row boat that was used to row out to the scows from the shallow bays in the Sounds.
Its amazing that this was a working fishing boat that went way out into the Cook Strait. Those old seamen knew a thing or two and were pretty fearless.
The b/w photo is dated c. 1969 & was taken just after her launching. The colour photo is c.1978.

Do we know any more about her past?

Nunui at Porirua




Wainui on Slipway 1931 Photo sent by Arthur to Cora after purchase30102015

1931 on slipway after purchase

wainui 1931 dark scan30102015

1931 – Love the dogs

Wainui on slipway Bulwer1938 undergoing alteration to stern 30 10 2015

1938 – on slipway undergoing stern alts.

Wainui Bulwer 1940s 30 10 2015

1940’s – Bulwer, Pelorus Sound

Wainui 1955 Smiths Bay Clay Point 30 10 2015

1955 – Smiths Bay, Clay Point

photos & details from Brynn McCauley. edited by Alan H

Brynn’s grandfather owned the launch Wainui in the Marlboroough Sounds from the late 1930’s to 1950 & she was last seen in Wanganui in the late 1950’s.

Brynn is convinced his grandfather’s Wainui is the same Wainui that featured on ww on 16-07-2015 (link here  ) The hull shape and size are a near perfect match for this vessel. This Wainui is lucky to be owned by the Pollard Bros. & when it comes to custodians of classic wooden boats they do not come much better than Cameron & Andrew Pollard.
The Wainui was shortened by cutting off her stern and raised her gunnels by Brynn’s grandfather in the 1930’s so he could use her to fish in the Cook Strait and Outer Sounds. The photos above show her when he originally bought (dark cabin and long stern) her and then the year he sold her (white with high gunnels and cut off stern).

In the 1987 Onehunga photo of the Pollards Wainui we see her with the raised running boards added as she was bought after serving as a mail launch in the Sounds by Arthur McCauley as his fishing boat, and fished on the fishing grounds well out into the Cook Strait and around Durville. She was one of the McCauley Mosquito Fishing fleet described in the book on Nelson and Marlborough pioneering fishing families, and served the family for well over 30 years, fishing, hauling wool and sheep around the Sounds. Patrick McCauley settled in the Sounds in the late 1870’s mining for gold and then cutting the family farm out of the bush. He taught himself to build boats building a fleet of fishing boats initially all sail, then introduced the first petrol engine into the Sounds at the turn of the century in the Ark. He pioneered a design suited to fishing in and out of the Sounds, building them on the beach in Bulwer, Pelorus Sound. He drowned in 1913 by falling off her near Havelock. Arthur his eldest son initially fished from the Ark, on returning from WW1, then purchased the Wainui and fished in her along side the Ark, The I’m Alone and the Eastern Star till 1955 when he downsized to a smaller clinker named the Nunui which unbelievably he continued to fish from well out into the Cook Strait and around Durville. Brynn still has the tender dingy that the Wainui towed which allowed access for picking up the nets and landing ashore on the many hunting trips enjoyed from her around the Sounds.

Wainui has a very special place in Brynn’s family history and they would very much like to learn if this Wainui is the same vessel and be able to chat to the current owners. Which won’t be a problem – Brynn can be contacted on

ps when ww does these ‘hook-ups’ it makes all the work in the background so worth while – 🙂  Alan H

Input from Andrew Pollard
She sure looks like the same boat…Many alcohol fuelled stories with Wainui, one involving some an umbrella and some faulty navigation lights..
Anyhow, as mentioned before we bought her in 1997…as a semi afloat wreck, as I hopped on the floorboards floated into the cockpit to meet me…She was a mess, bitumen on the decks,decay everywhere, a stuffed 40hp Ford diesel and a long since departed snapper carcass soulessly eyeballing us from the bilge…
She was at Te Atatu boat club on poles right outside the clubhouse. They kept her there so they knew when she was about to sink, apparently one of her pastimes!
We purchased her off a dubious bloke named Ryan Cornelious. He purchased her of the guy that steamed her from New Plymouth to Onehunga (a Gary Swordc. Rumour has it they had to wait outside the Manukau bar for the weather to calm down and ran out of fags and booze and things got tense between the crew as a result.
Anyhow Sword took her to a K’road panel beaters yard and fitted the cabin she know has but back then it had huge black tinted windows.
Now we were told he purchased her from a couple of Maori brothers who had cray fished her out of New Plymouth and Waitara area and she was built in 1903…
I had heard whispers of a history in the Sounds…with wool bales…
She is two skin not three, and has 6 (3 each side) huge Pohutakawa knees a midships running from deck level to keel…
She steams like a witch with the Gardner…we don’t open it right up as she starts to suck the back deck down and…

Update – photos below ex Angus Rogers show her hauled out in April 2017 at Okahu Bay, Auckland



07-07-2017 Input from Brynn McCauley

I was given the photos below in November 2016, when I stopped in at Waitara where the Wainui spent some time, by the son of Paul Blossom who owned her there. Its a photo of her in New Plymouth, you can see the breakwater to the left. Amazing when you see her in this photo, taken in the early 1980’s before Paul Blossom took her to Waitara. She looks pretty rough in the photo, incredible she survived.
The colour photo shows where she used to be docked in this tidal stream beside the main river. Spent most of the time sitting in the mud.






I took the above photos of Wainui at the weekend, moored off Bayswater Marina. Going by the posts on ww, Wainui was a popular name for a boat (maori = a small seabird). She looks well cared for & the hose (bilge) out the starboard porthole is a sign that her owner cares about her.

What do we know about this one?

Harold Kidd Input

She’s not one of the two other WAINUIs that have featured on WW but just could be the Arthur Forrester-built WAINUI which has been on the Kaipara all her life. Zach should know. There were several more WAINUIs too.

Input from Zach Matich

Jack Martin of Dargaville had her for years then sold to Westlake family and kept at Tinopai. Photos below


photo ex Jason Prew

Photo from Jason Prew’s during his trip up the Tamaki River with Otira to the Chris McMullen workshop CYA visit. Jason photographed some of the many moored wooden boats moored on-route.

Today’s launch is an ‘interesting’ mix of styles…………. I can just make out a shortish name on her stern starting with W, can anyone ID her & supply more details on her past?

Input from Cameron Pollard

“Wainui” 33ft x not a lot x 3ft. Two skin kauri, built around 1900 .
We have owned her for close to 20 years and was the start of our obsession / illness of collecting old boats.
Steamed from New Plymouth to Onehunga wharf after fishing down there for years.
We rescued her as a half sunk hulk at Te Atatu after the cabin had been fitted in back streets behind K’Road by previous owner.
Replaced quarter of her stern. (Counter already shortened by then)
Fitted a 3LW Gardner of course to replace the old ford. (No clapped out Jap import truck engines go in our fleet)
Used her as our taxi up and down the Tamaki river.
Got tired of the 3LW shaking the coke out of the rum so 6 or more years ago we pulled her at Half Moon Bay and gave her a birthday.
Eased up the window shapes that had previously been fitted retaining the main structure tho as room inside is ample for her size.
Removed the 3LW and fitted a rebuilt 4LK light weight high revving (2000rpm) Gardner. Engine very rare ex ww2 midget submarine but that’s another story on its own.
Relaunched and now a very smooth and quiet wee launch.
Due for her 3 yearly tidy up but will always be part of our clan.

21-07-2015 Photos added – Wainui at Onehunga wharf in 1987 after her trip from New Plymouth & 2 showing her out of the water.



There as been a lot of activity in comments section of ww in regard to Wainui. The original story I posted on her back in June 2013 under the headline ‘Getting Hooked’ told the tale of her current owner Phil Parks & how he came to own the classic wooden launch Wainui. Its a good story & can be viewed at the link below  –

Last Friday the post popped up again & we uncovered some insight into her past & some wonderful details & photos from Harold Kidd. Phil Parks advised that the restoration project was now scheduled to start in late 2014, aside from other things in life getting in the way, there was a wee oops that saw Wainui sink at her mooring.

Firstly a brief history of WAINUI II 

  1. Built by Joe Slattery c1924 for E.O. Ward.
  2. Wrecked on Rangitoto February 1936 and badly damaged.
  3. Ward sold to Val Maxwell, teacher at King’s College, as a wreck. Maxwell rebuilds probably close to present configuration.
  4. Maxwell sells 1939.
  5. Later owners include Sandy Searle 1967-72, then Dr. Ranginui Walker 1972, gap of 3 years then John Hobden 1977-81, Stan Bayer 1981-84, N Amos 1984-7, Ken Meyer 1987-90.
  6. Capt. John Harrison (ex-skipper of HMNZS TUI), Harold has fond memories of the TUI wardroom, bought her at Sandspit 1990 in poor condition with 40hp Ford Ebro. Orams rebuilt her substantially 1991-2. John renamed her Tilikum and kept her at Parua Bay then sold shortly after and went back to sail.


Photo Gallery of WAINUI II

# 2507 was taken in 1928 alongside the Bayswater Wharf. Note the steam trams.

# 2505 shows her being launched for the season from Bailey & Lowe’s. This pic was used in the Herald on 24/10/30. The yacht on the right is almost certainly Ladye Wilma on Heartseae’s cradle.

# 2506 shows her on the rocks at Rangitoto in February 1936 (same image as used in the header)

# 2509 she’s at Lees at Sandpit in April 1990 when John Harrison bought her, looking fine but seriously rotten.

# 2508 at Orams in Whangarei under major reconstruction in April 1991.

# NZ Herald 4 Feb 1936 (Papers Past) – high on the rocks at Rangitoto. The 6 occupants were washed out of the cockpit, with  2 females being injured.

# NZ Herald 6 Feb 1936 (Papers Past) – showing the extensive damage she sustained.

# Current Photo 2013 (low res image)



Getting Hooked


Getting Hooked


Below is a tale by Phil Parks that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to, sounds very familiar. AH

I have been a lover all things to do with the ocean and boats since being pushed off Howick Beach as a 5 year old in my first P class.

As my life has evolved boats have always figured but my love of surfing was foremost until recently.

Living on the west coast is not that conducive to owning boats although I do have a purpose built tinny to go fishing out here when the swell is small enough.

About 15 years ago I bought a place at Ti Point near Leigh and have had a nice fizz boat up there. This has rekindled my love of boating and as age is now making surfing harder all the time I am spending more time boating.

I have dreamed about owning a classic launch for years and always troll the for sale columns looking at everything for sale. Funny how that gives you a good sense of values of various vessels.

The only thing that has stopped me “going for it” has been the lack of some where to keep a launch.

I had applied for a mooring 12 years ago with the Rodney council but it soon became apparent the whole process was an absolute wrought as I never proceeded to get any where near the top the list although new boats seemed to be appearing all the time.

I had always called the mooring administrators annually to whine about the process and to keep my name on the books.

When I did that in 2011 I was now dealing with the new Auckland Council and I was flabbergasted when a very helpful lady heard my cause and replied “well there are a couple of sites available do you want one?”

Did I what!!!! I paid the money and secured a mooring site that could be viewed from my bach lounge. Fan bloody tastic! Now every time I looked at boats a wave of excitement came over me!

Xmas 2011 and looking at trade me I spied a nice looking old launch that seemed to be at a good price. Problem it was at Hohorua. Made a few calls to the owner but never got around to getting up there to have a look.

I could not get her out of my mind and when another boat that was at Kohukohu came on the market I thought I would do a road trip. Arranged to look at 8 boats, jumped in the car and took off.

There were only 2 boats that interested me mainly because I was fussy about the “look”. It just had to look right. Most did not.

Anyway one thing led to another, time passed but I eventually became the owner of the 28′ Wainui.

It was the originally boat that I saw on trade me 5 months before and was smitten with. As it was a deceased estate and the family were finding it a real hassel to keep I ended up getting her for a very good price and the whole deal had a good feeling to it. Very co-operative vendors.

It now meant there was pressure on to get the mooring established and that is another whole story in itself.

My best friend and I sailed her down from Hohorua to Ti Point and that was a fantastic trip and again another good story.

She now sits in Ti Point Harbour with a few other classics. I will soon move her up to the bach for a full restoration.

Probably have to sell the fizzer to afford it but worth it.

Its all about the journey………….Phil Parks

27-02-2017 Photo below by (ex Colin Brown) of Wainui at a Mangawhai property. Most likely the bach mentioned in the story above.